Nut rolls have been a tradition in my Family for as long as I can remember. My Baba made them…my Mom still makes them…I however, never did until today. As I have said so many times before…I am not much of a baker…don’t really like to measure and baking is an exact science. However, I thought I would give it a whirl…they actually turned out pretty darn good. I used an old recipe from a Serbian cookbook that my Mom bought from the church many, many moons ago. She updated just a bit by using rapid rise yeast. The incorporation of sour cream makes this dough so easy to work with.
My update included tons and tons of filling…maybe just a bit too much. May or may not scale that back next time. So…here it is…one of my Family’s Serbian traditions. They are actually not that difficult to make…just a bit time consuming…think I may tackle mini-sized the next go round…what do you think?
I filled these with ground walnuts, but I equally like them filled with apricot. You can also fill with poppyseed. Be sure to have something handy to grind the nuts. I actually used a mini-chopper like this one. You really want a fine grind on the nuts. My Mom, still to this day, uses a hand grinder! This recipe will make about six rolls. NOTE: The ingredients for the nut filling is for one roll.
Be sure that all of the ingredients are at room temperature. Grind the nuts in a chopper, hand grinder or food processor. You want the consistency of the nuts to be fine. I ground about 30 ounces of whole walnuts to get close to eight cups of ground.
After you have ground all of the nuts, place four cups in a bowl with the granulated sugar. Heat up a few tablespoons of milk and add to the nut/sugar mixture, a little bit at a time. You are just looking for a paste-like consistency that you can spread easily. You do NOT want the mixture to be watery. You may or may not use all of the milk. Set aside and prepare your dough.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Incorporate the butter. You will notice it is a little crumbly at this point…that is ok. work in the sour cream. Add in the eggs. Combine. Do all of this by hand. You never want this dough to over mix. In a separate bowl, warm up the milk in the microwave. Stir the yeast into the warm milk. Allow to dissolve. Incorporate the milk/yeast mixture into the dough. Mix just until everything is combined. Do NOT overwork your dough.
You do not need to allow the dough to rise at this point. Cut dough into 6 equal portions. Roll one portion of dough on lightly floured surface. I like mine thin…but would probably roll just a little thicker next time due to the amount of nut mixture I filled them with. Place a thin layer of butter on dough surface.
Place enough of the nut mixture to cover the dough. I used almost all of the mixture. I would probably cut back just a little next time. Roll from the longest side and place on parchment lined baking sheet, seam side down. You can typically fit two rolls in a pan. Cover. Place in a warm area and allow to rise for at least two hours.
Once the rolls have risen, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake until golden brown. This will take about 25 to 30 minutes. In the last few minutes of baking, rub the tops of the rolls with butter. This will make them nice and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before cutting. ENJOY!!!